Snowball Earth - complete prototype released

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Snowball Earth - complete prototype released

Post by Oogst » Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:29 pm

Today we have released the complete playable prototype of our cancelled game Snowball Earth! This is the game that we worked on at Ronimo for a full year in 2007 and 2008, before we made Swords & Soldiers. Since Snowball Earth was never finished, we never really talked about it either and kept the prototype hidden. Such a waste! The prototype contains over an hour of gameplay and some really cool ideas, so I would like to share it with everyone today! :)

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The prototype was entirely made in Ogre, which is of course why I am posting it here. It uses a lot of tools and basic code from De Blob and Proun, two other Ogre projects that I worked on. Unfortunately it was cancelled in 2008, but for as a studio it was a blessing in disguise: we learned our lessons and went on to create something smaller, which became the award winning Swords & Soldiers. Recently we released Awesomenauts.

We are releasing the entire prototype, and you can download it using Torrent:

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Snowball_Earth_prototype.zip.torrent


For more info on what the game is exactly, and why it was cancelled in the end, check this blogpost (also with more videos and images): The history of Snowball Earth

[youtube]Cae6wYVeDrI[/youtube]

Image

Especially the systems to make snow melt, grass and plants grow and trees unfreeze was a pretty complex technical accomplishment and one that I am really proud of (also because of the great art our artists made for it), so I will write a future blogpost about that at some point. :)

I'd love to hear your opinions on how it plays! :)
Last edited by Oogst on Fri Dec 21, 2012 3:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Snowball Earth - complete prototype released

Post by drwbns » Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:44 am

Very interesting to hear the out come of it and why it turned out that way. But seriously, it looks and sounds AAA to me. Maybe the idea just didn't have enough roots to begin with, but great job anyways.
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Re: Snowball Earth - complete prototype released

Post by areay » Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:36 am

Oogst wrote: Especially the systems to make snow melt, grass and plants grow and trees unfreeze was a pretty complex technical accomplishment and one that I am really proud of (also because of the great art our artists made for it), so I will write a future blogpost about that at some point. :)
That's the most impressive feature that caught my eye. Looking forward to that post :)
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Re: Snowball Earth - complete prototype released

Post by mkultra333 » Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:44 am

That melting effect is very nice. Interesting to read about the project on you blog.
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Re: Snowball Earth - complete prototype released

Post by Jabberwocky » Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:27 pm

Super stylish video. Some of the artwork looks a little Dr. Seuss inspired. Pro job Oogst, it's always a treat to see the stuff you've worked on.
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Re: Snowball Earth - complete prototype released

Post by mude » Thu Oct 25, 2012 4:31 pm

whe I saw the video some days ago I thought that it looked like they were using ogre :D
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Re: Snowball Earth - complete prototype released

Post by Oogst » Thu Oct 25, 2012 4:51 pm

mude wrote:whe I saw the video some days ago I thought that it looked like they were using ogre :D
Haha, that's really interesting, since all the shaders were custom written. What made you think that?
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Re: Snowball Earth - complete prototype released

Post by ekt » Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:45 pm

first, i envy you a lot your artist - that's the art i'd really kill for :)

second, I've not played the demo yet, but from the video it reminds me grimm form amercian mc gee
And i always though that there was a great game mechanic there, but really badly performed
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Re: Snowball Earth - complete prototype released

Post by pinaster » Fri Oct 26, 2012 11:36 am

Oogst wrote:
mude wrote:whe I saw the video some days ago I thought that it looked like they were using ogre :D
Haha, that's really interesting, since all the shaders were custom written. What made you think that?
answering from here: probably the aliasing on plants and trees because of the low resolution and the fact that I was using ogre just before watching the video.

It's was an interesting project, is there any possibility to see it again in the future?

EDIT: will you be at italian game dev summit in Milan too?
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Re: Snowball Earth - complete prototype released

Post by Oogst » Fri Oct 26, 2012 5:04 pm

New blogpost, sharing a bunch of cool concept art from Snowball Earth! Publishers didn't seem to like our robot heroes, so these were the alternative designs our artists made in reaction to that. Including these totally crazy rollable dogs...

Drooling dogs and weird boys for Snowball Earth

Image

:lol:
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Re: Snowball Earth - complete prototype released

Post by Ologon » Fri Oct 26, 2012 6:27 pm

That looks totally cool and cute :D

It's such a pity this awesome project didn't see the light of the day at the time. Have you ever thought about publishing it on your own?
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Re: Snowball Earth - complete prototype released

Post by Oogst » Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:02 am

Ologon wrote:... It's such a pity this awesome project didn't see the light of the day at the time. Have you ever thought about publishing it on your own?
The project would be very big to complete, so we would need a serious budget to finish it. This one is a lot larger still than Awesomenauts, and that took us 3 (!) years to complete. So to finish Snowball Earth, we would have to double our team size and spend a lot of time, which is just too expensive for us to do.
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Re: Snowball Earth - complete prototype released

Post by Ologon » Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:38 am

Well, i wish you guys the best of luck for your next projects then! I really like the art style of your team :wink:
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Re: Snowball Earth - complete prototype released

Post by dudeabot » Sat Oct 27, 2012 2:59 pm

i have seen more ambitious projects funded by kickstarter, maybe could be a alternative :D
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Re: Snowball Earth - complete prototype released

Post by Oogst » Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:12 pm

New blogpost about Snowball Earth! This time one about the business of game development: about how it works to pitch a project to a publisher and get a deal signed.

Shining a light on how pitching to publishers works

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Re: Snowball Earth - complete prototype released

Post by Mind Calamity » Sat Nov 03, 2012 1:39 am

That's a big checklist. :D A lot of useful information in that blogpost that will come in handy to many indie studios.
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Re: Snowball Earth - complete prototype released

Post by bstone » Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:31 am

Thanks for sharing that! An interesting read indeed.
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Re: Snowball Earth - complete prototype released

Post by masterfalcon » Sat Nov 03, 2012 8:12 am

I used to be on the publisher side of that. Hearing it from the developer side is pretty interesting indeed.
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Re: Snowball Earth - complete prototype released

Post by Oogst » Sat Nov 03, 2012 9:34 am

masterfalcon wrote:I used to be on the publisher side of that. Hearing it from the developer side is pretty interesting indeed.
Which makes me extremely curious to know to what extend you think my blogpost is correct, and which parts you disagree with!
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Re: Snowball Earth - complete prototype released

Post by Slappy » Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:24 pm

Any chance to resurrect this project?

I suppose this should be a really fun!
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Re: Snowball Earth - complete prototype released

Post by Oogst » Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:52 pm

Slappy wrote:Any chance to resurrect this project?

I suppose this should be a really fun!
Nope, we are going to resurrect it, but you can download what is there already! There is a full hour of gameplay in there! 8)
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Re: Snowball Earth - complete prototype released

Post by jorgerosa » Tue Nov 06, 2012 5:19 pm

WOW! This game is so cute and so cool! "Unfortunately it was cancelled in 2008"... Yep! Only the good things are hard to come to "life" (and I am a "pro" in canceled projects, caused by lack of founding, too). Today to be a cool game, it must have lots of violence+blood+zombies+retarded stuff... Well, no matter what... I have ever refused to develop that kind of games (but thats me, of course).
And, i´ve small kids, and "Snowball Earth" its just the perfect kind of game that i would buy for them. LOVED IT! WELL DONE!
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Re: Snowball Earth - complete prototype released

Post by Oogst » Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:59 pm

As some requested, here's a post about how the melting effects were created! :)

Snowball Earth's melting effects

Image

I'll discuss the snow/puddles/grass/deformation shader on the ground next week in a bit more detail!
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Re: Snowball Earth - complete prototype released

Post by Brocan » Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:45 pm

Amazing :o
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Re: Snowball Earth - complete prototype released

Post by areay » Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:06 pm

Oogst wrote: To manage the melting, the game has a big 2D map of the level (a grid, really) and for each point on the map, it stores how much it has melted yet. By walking around, the player turns the parts of the map from frozen to green. This map is then used by all elements in the level to determine to what extend they should show up melted.

A rather simple effect is the smaller plants: they are just scaled to size 0 until they are unfrozen, at which point they grow to full scale with a nice popping animation. For variation, our artists made a couple of different popping animations, but that's about it.
Ah, that was my guess. Thanks for posting, looking forward to the next week's one.
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